Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Trying to catch up with life

There are those times in life where too many things are happening at once. Right now, I'm going through this (albeit, gracefully).

Here's some life events that I'm trying to navigate my way through. I'll list them below:

1. Dating
2. New job
3. Looking for an apartment / anticipating living on my own
4. Anticipating future online classes 

#1  I'll start with the first event. Dating. (-__-;;) I guess I'm at a point in my life where I feel like I should date to meet a future partner if I ever want to have one in this lifetime. I know, I know... this sounds dramatic but it's my thought process right now. I believe I've already spilled my guts about my 'relationship virgin' status so I won't get into that. I'm using online dating as a tool to meet people but it's pretty difficult. So far, I've lasted 5 dates with one person but it ended up dissolving. Currently, I'm chatting with a different guy from the dating app and I've decided that for now, I'm just going to chat with one guy at a time. I tried doing multiple chatting with different guys at first and it was a bit much.

I already don't like how online dating makes people more disposable, like items you shop for. So instead of always looking for greener pastures so to speak, I'm just going to try focusing on one person at a time. It just seems more genuine that way, especially if you're doing well texting with them. Perhaps I should try a phone chat too before meeting in person..

I don't think most people really understand how difficult it is for someone very introverted to date. I know my coworkers and friends mean well when they tell me to just "go out there and meet people." I'm seriously hesitant to believe that will work for me because I'm just that awkward when it boils down to flirting and hinting that I'm interested. And activities I like to do? Only WOMEN would be interested in those activities! I try to think of "going out" activities and most of those involve me reading a book in the library, visiting a cute cafe, or shopping at a clothing or department store. D: Other more exciting activities would lack authenticity if I did them as I don't enjoy them.

#2  As for the new job, it's been about 3 months since I started. Orientation ended a couple weeks ago and I was plunged into the world of being an independent nurse. It hasn't been so bad. I feel as if I'm being babied with the low number of patients I start off with in the morning (approximately 3). But it doesn't really matter. Whatever they want to do, they can do. I'm just happy I don't feel like I'm drowning. My job also has a lot of supplemental education, not only the online content but also quizzes at work and classes to attend. (T_T) It's nice that they give us education but it sure seems like a lot when starting out. And to top it off, meetings and being a part of a mandatory committee. I'm still unsure of what being part of a committee entails but I'm sure I'll find out eventually. The silver lining through all of this is the fact that I 'usually' have 4 days of the week to my leisure.

#3  Looking for an apartment has actually proven to be kind of a fun activity for me. I like looking at the different floor plans and how the prices change over time. It's the reality of living on my own scares me. I have this ideal fantasy about how it will be but in reality, I don't exactly know what to expect. I'm hoping that I'll at least be able to keep my shit together.

#4  The online class thing is just something that I have to get done. Once I get into a routine, I'm sure it won't be so bad. It's more anticipation than anything else.

Reviewing the amount of text I've written for each event, whatever I listed appears to be in the correct order of most stressful to least stressful. Why does dating have to be so stressful? At this point in my life, I think it's the idea of never having the relationship experience more than anything. I'll have to have the experience to think any further than that.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Dating makes me T I R E D

It's been about half a month of dating escapades. Specifically, online dating. I honestly don't see much of a difference once things go offline unless the couple was friends before or something. I'm fortunate to have not encountered any obvious pervs or creepos thus far.

But I get sooooooo worn out from dating. Mentally.

Let me give an example.

I've been on about 3 dates so far with one guy. He is nice, friendly, and polite but as I get to know him more with each passing date, I also get more anxious about his intentions and if we even have that magical connection everyone keeps talking about. So many questions plague my mind after these dates.

Should I keep seeing him? Why does he check his phone so often? (Note: I found out the answer to this question on date #2). Who is supposed to be paying on these dates? If he lets me split the bill, does that indicate that he only sees me as a friend? Since he asked ME out somewhere, does this mean he should be paying? Should I be dating a guy who isn't at a stable point in his life yet? Is he a psychopath? 😱

I guess this is the reality of people dating others out of college/school years. There's so much more sh*t to factor into a person. Even if you happened to 'connect', there's always another thing you would have to consider such as if they have a decent job or if they have similar values to your own about life.

Online dating also makes everything more disposable because there are so many options and possibilities. If you don't like a person, you can just cut it off and date someone else, right? It's harsh, but that seems to be the reality of online dating.

The last date I went on was a hike, lunch, and a walk around a festival nearby. It was nice but the weather was hot so that probably drained me even more. When I got home, I literally just took a shower and went to bed. And luckily the next day, I was off so I slept in and then ruminated for half the day about a few of the questions mentioned above. Mostly about who should be paying on dates and if a guy accepts my offer to split the bill, does this mean he sees me in a more platonic way.

This all probably sounds silly but this is from my own personal values about how I approach dating. It's also frustrating because it's not socially acceptable to be talking about financial aspects of the relationship in the initial phase of dating. I can't even communicate my concerns to the other person when I want to without appearing strange and awkward.

It's definitely in my personality to overthink and analyze every detail in a situation. My emotional memory is actually quite excellent if what happened was significant enough. If I had an unpleasant experience with another person, I would remember almost everything that was said up to the little details of their facial expressions in each moment.

This is an irritating part of my personality that I can't get rid of. I hate over analyzing. It's like a switch that I can't turn off.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

What I've been up to...

Omg, so I joined... a dating app! 😖 I'm surprised at myself. Conservative me? No way! I made a profile keeping it as private as I could and answered most of the 'questions'. I've been putting this off for so long and I finally said, f*ck it. I'm doing this NOW! This is one of those things that I always thought about doing because if I don't put myself out there and wait for fate to kick in (if it ever does), nothing may ever happen. I've decided to put dating into my own hands and see what I can find.

I don't talk about my dating life at all because I've never had one. I went through high school with minimal interaction with the opposite sex and went through college in a similar fashion. Maybe it's because I wasn't in a university setting and didn't dorm. I don't know. The only thing I know is that I never got that experience and it's a little awkward to talk about it because it probably sounds so bizarre to people. I think that dating either happens for you early in life or it doesn't. I don't know how the universe decides upon that but I'm sure being an introvert didn't help me in the dating department. I can't say that I've never gotten the opportunity because I have; I just wasn't interested in the guys who asked me out or who seemed interested in me. I don't think it's right to loosely date someone I'm not interested in and I don't know if I'll ever think otherwise. I honestly believe that there should be at least some physical attraction when it comes to dating someone.

On my first day of creating my profile, I had about one creep and many others who just didn't physically attract me at all. I didn't reply to them. I feel bad about it but there are so many and I don't want to deal with guys who can't handle rejection. I also looked up 'online dating etiquette' (yeah, that's a thing, lol) to make sure I was doing the right thing by not responding to every single message. The 'creep' I was talking about apparently had no patience because merely a few hours after not responding to him, he sent an inappropriate message. 😑💧 Now that I think about it, that's a really great way to weed out poor choice guys from good ones. It's not a good sign if a guy can't handle rejection. I even look through some profiles and see if I believe there will be any compatibility so it's not always about looks only. The creepo was a person who I thought I probably wouldn't be able to keep up with in terms of their activities and interests.

Besides my huge choice of joining that app, I didn't do much today besides getting my blood drawn. We have incentives at work for having biometric screenings, physical check ups, and participating in health conscious activities. I think it's a good way to motivate people to take care of their health. Money is a strong motivator.

I wanted to blog several weeks ago but never got to it since I my orientation started and the busyness hit me like a whirlwind. I had a nice dinner out with my mom. We went to Panda Express and it was quite good. I had this chicken entree.

I like the design of the cups. It's very cute and suits my tastes perfectly. ^^ I may start bringing my own waterbottle to these kinds of eateries though. I can save more paper cups that way. :3

Monday, March 20, 2017

Online Friends: the complexity of messaging

NOTE: When I say 'online friends', I mean friends you met and converse with primarily online opposed to in person.

And once again, I've created another long ass essay on a first world problem! 😊👍

I've had only a handful of online friends over the past decade. (I feel so old when I say that.. lol). I exchanged emails with one of them for maybe 10 years now.. One of the things that I really struggled with and still struggle with today is message response time. How long should it take this person to respond to you? How long should it take you to respond to them? Should you respond to them in the same amount of time it took them to respond to you? My brain hurts... 😱

I honestly believe that the 'rules' of texting-and-email-etiquette for dating and friends you see on a daily basis doesn't quite transfer well into the realm of penpals and online friends. This is because you've never met this online friend in person, or maybe you did meet them but only a few times and you don't see them frequently. It's a reflection of the saying, "out of sight, out of mind."

In my experience, when I emailed with a friend I met online (the one I've corresponded with the longest), we would send long, essay-like emails to each other. It would take 1-3 months for a response. You could say we were penpals. I think we somehow came to a mutual understanding of the response time. We would generally apologize for taking so long to respond and would never pry for answers as to why the response took so long. The principle I formed at the time was that however long it took her to respond to me would be the minimum amount of time I would take to respond to her. We still responded at our own pace though and it was never quite exact. This principle worked well with her because:

1. She's the type of person who takes a while to respond. And..
2. Our emails were very long and we both liked to create thoughtful responses

We lost contact for a while because of the site's updates, but eventually found a way to talk with each other again. Along with emailing directly, we decided to use a texting app because it allowed us to keep our anonymity (we had not met in person before). With the new texting ability came new concerns. Since the messages are so much shorter, how long should we take to respond? These are thoughts I still have. But I use the principle I stated above: however long it takes them to respond to me, is the general amount of time I have to respond to them. We all have our egos. I think most people wouldn't want to appear desperate by being the only person responding promptly.

The principle of equal responding time doesn't work in some cases though. I've had an online friend on the other end of the spectrum who responded too quickly. Yes, responding too fast is a thing. And it's unnerving (at least in the case of online friends, especially ones you don't know too well). I mean, besides someone like your best friend/s, SO, or family, would you feel creeped out if someone texted you almost everyday? I would.

This friend was on my texting app and they would respond quite fast, within an hour or two or a day. You would think that I would be super happy about this but it just made me feel uncomfortable. I felt especially uncomfortable when I wouldn't respond right away and then they would continuously send messages asking if I was okay or to have a nice day. I'm sorry if this sounds terrible but I felt like I was being suffocated. Maybe it's because I didn't know this person too well, or maybe it's because I'm conditioned to expect even a short message to take 1-2 weeks from an online friend.

The moral of this story is that there are all kinds of online friends. How you handle it is going to depend on what kind of online friend you have. There will be some who take forever to respond but have really good responses. There will be some that just seem needy (I think these kinds of online friends are best kept off your smartphone). And there will be everything in between.

I think the best way to deal with it is to not take things too personally, especially with online friends who take a while to respond. Of course, this will also depend on the quality of their responses to you.

My reasoning for this is because of some things I learned about friendships:

  • No friendship is perfect. If you expect too much from your friend and cut them off because they don't fit an ideal you have of the perfect friend, you might end up with no friends at all.
  • People are busy in life. Yeah, realistically a person will make time to respond to you if they really want to. But everyone has different priorities. Plus, this is an online friend you don't see in person. Out of sight, out of mind. 
  • We can only control our own actions. We can't control how quickly someone responds to a message let alone what they do in their life. Lets not take things personally and just focus on our own actions.

The only valid tip I have is for the online friend who has good responses to messages but a long response time (a week or more for texts and 1-3 months for emails). This will also depend on how long you're personally willing to wait for responses.

My solution is pretty much an eye for an eye.

However long it takes them to respond to you is the minimum amount of time you will take to respond to them. 

This is only if you're still willing to correspond with them and you don't want to seem desperate or needy.

I've seen some common questions about 'instant messaging etiquette'. Here are my personal answers to these questions for specifically, online friends:

1. Why are they taking so long to respond to me? Am I unimportant to them? 

(Possibly the most popular question of all in the world of texting and messaging.)

The short answer to this question is yes, they don't care about you enough to respond in a time frame you deem appropriate. They're 'busy' and have so many more important things to do in their life. If they really cared, they would make time to respond to you. Most people always have their phone with them and are texting anyway! No excuses!!! 😡💢

Here's my answer based on my experience with an online friend who takes a long time to respond.

I wouldn't say you're unimportant or that they don't care about you at all. You're just not at the top of their priority list. Online friends are not people you see on a day to day basis. People have their families, friends offline, coworkers, acquaintances, and many other people they may be talking with on various social medias. Besides f*cking Facebook, can you imagine how many other social media sites they're on? There are a lot. I'm not proud to say it but I've joined social media sites, made friends, and then just stopped using the site after finding a new social media that I liked more or just forgetting about the site altogether. After my experience with that, I realized how easy it could be for an online friend to cease contact.

Now, going back to my online friend. We've been chatting for about 10 years, despite taking a long time to respond to one another. I think this fact alone states that we do care and we have a mutual understanding that each of us have our own lives offline. We can't be the center of the universe to one another. 

I also believe that some people want to have a certain amount of control over their life. They don't want to feel as if their life is dictated by how promptly they can respond to a message sent by an online friend. I think that deep down, this is why I was so bothered by that other online friend who responded too quickly. I felt as if they were taking over my life; I would always be expecting their responses and then I felt the need to respond back just as promptly to be polite. It was super creepy that they were on my mind that much and it almost felt like that was their intention for messaging all the time. My theory is that everyone has a certain range of time between responding to a message where they feel in control of their life and comfortable.

Both the time it takes someone to respond to a message and the content of the responses send a psychological message to the receiver. If a person responds too quickly (in the receiver's perspective), they could come off as needy, creepy, and dependent. If a person takes a long time to respond (in the receiver's perspective), they could come off as uncaring and rude.  

As you can see, there is no perfect solution to this problem because everyone has different perceptions of what the appropriate response time is. 

Not everyone can accept a person taking so long to respond to text messages or emails. In this case, sadly to say you may have to cut ties with this online friend. If it truly bothers you, there really isn't much you can do about it. We can't control the other person's actions, only our own.

If you have a situation similar to mine with an online friend you really connect with but they take a while to respond, you can do what I do and respond in a similar amount of time they take to respond to you. Personally, I think that's appropriate. There are some exceptions like if they took much longer than their usual response time and mentioned why it took so long. But that would be for you to judge. I would also suggest finding new hobbies and activities to do to keep yourself occupied. If you're starting to feel insecure about yourself because of their response time, then it's time for you to focus on your own life and find things to keep yourself busy.

2. I always send thoughtful messages and emails but their responses always revolve around them and their problems. They never acknowledge my messages. What should I do?

This one also goes back to our lack of control over the other person's actions.

I have a friend offline who sometimes has these tendencies. I think there are some people in this world who are really cool to hang with offline but if you want to text or email them, they really suck at it. So it's not exactly fair to simply label this person as the scum of the Earth.

With online friends, this is more difficult as you don't see them in person. You can't just walk up to them and talk with them directly. Over 50% of communication is conveyed through body language. We don't get that in online messaging or texts. Due to these unfortunate circumstances, if you really can't stand them doing this, it's best to either bring it up to them in a polite way (although you could risk appearing uptight, overly sensitive, and needy depending on your expectations), or to cut ties with this person.

I think the resolution of this will depend on how effectively you bring up the issue and how understanding your friend is. If you two are in sync and truly have a mutual understanding and respect of one another, then this problem could be resolved through the direct approach. My advice is to keep most of your emotions out of your message when addressing the issue. Focus more on how their responses made you feel. Keep as much emotional charge out of your message as possible. Have clear goal in mind when writing to this person about your problem with them. What kind of outcome do you want? Try to make that clear to them and try to make it reasonable.  

3. My friend never congratulates me on things and often just responds with "yay..." They also commonly use "yea..." as a response to other things. WTF does this mean? 

I personally get annoyed with people who respond this way and don't have the common sense to at least give a simple phrase of "congrats!" to a friend who made a significant accomplishment.

I've never really had this issue with close online friends but I've had this problem with a friend offline through texting. It was pretty weird because instead of a simple "congrats," they would say "yay..." You can imagine what I thought about that. 😑 It's difficult to know what the person is truly thinking based on a simple text message. I eventually got confirmation that they were happy for me once when they stated, "I'm really happy you got the job." I don't think she truly didn't care or wasn't happy for me. Although, if she didn't make that last statement, it would be quite difficult for me to believe she cared.

Again, with online friends, this answer is skewed since you may not be able to ask your friend in person (which is almost always the best mode of communication). You could always just ask them through texting/messaging if they continually do this (though you may risk coming off as 'overly sensitive'). But sometimes the person might not be aware of how their responses affect you and may just really, really suck at messaging.  Adding in some emoji's may help. ^^

I think that at times, it's much better to address certain problems directly instead of fume in silence. This will be based on individual preferences and how well you know the person. What you do will strongly depend on what you're willing to put up with and what you won't.

I hope this essay was informative and perhaps helped you with your online messaging woes.  💗

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The benefits of journaling

I learned a very valuable lesson today. Journaling has more benefits than I thought!

Today, I went to my first nurse interview. I got help from my mom since she sent a referral for me. I don't know if I could have gotten this opportunity to interview without her. Thanks mom! 💖💖💖

The first few questions of the interview were pretty easy because they were common questions like:
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • Tell me about yourself
  • Where did you have your clinicals?
Easy peasy.

The second part of the interview consisted of the harder questions and the interviewers told me so. Yippee! I'm so happy I'm aware of the difficult questions to come! Thanks!!! 😀 *That was sarcasm btw*

Most of the questions were about my clinical experiences and what I did in certain situations. This part was difficult for me not necessarily because of the questions, but because I had to recall clinical experiences that I barely remembered. The entire time I was thinking, "OMG, how am I gonna bullsh*t an answer if I don't have an experience I can think of? What will happen if I can't answer this question and have a long, awkward pause?!!"

Which now brings me to my main point. Journaling.

Journaling saved my ass in this situation because I was able to pull some good experiences from the short summaries I wrote during my clinical at a rehabilitation hospital.

I remember them asking me a question about a time when I had a patient in pain with an underlying condition. Somehow, I had the perfect answer to this question and I'm sure I aced it. Why did I have the perfect answer? Because I had journaled this significant experience.

I think that journaling not only helps a person reflect and make goals to improve, but they also reinforce the memory of a situation. This is particularly useful if a person needs to recall certain information like during an interview or if they're teaching someone and trying to give an example.

This piece of information can apply to all occupations, not just nursing. One of the best ways to prepare for future interviews is to journal significant work experiences throughout your career. This way, you'll have great answers for many types of interview questions.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Absorbed in my hobbies

Baby kale sprouts
As my job hunt continues, I need things to focus on to keep from despairing. That sounds depressing.. But it's so true. It's not easy to find a job these days.

I started gardening and the first plants I tried were kale seeds. My mom had them and intended to grow kale last year but never got to it. I beat her to the punch and planted these little guys. And they grew! I'm really happy because I always thought of myself as a plant killer. Hopefully by doing my research, I'll have good results with the kale.

I also planted some flower seeds: morning glories, forget-me-nots, bachelor's buttons, and oriental poppies. I'm a bit worried about the poppies. Some describe them to be like a weed although I guess they're picky? There were some reviews talking about how poppies can be difficult to grow in pots. Other reviews say they're easy to grow. We'll see.

My other favorite hobby is cooking and baking. I made cream stew again last week. It turned out very good! I'm glad that anime recipe is still working well.

A few days later, I used my vegan chocolate cake recipe to make some chocolate muffins. I saw someone on a youtube video eating one and it looked so delicious! I had to make some myself. The ones I buy at the store are a bit too sweet for my liking.

I've been eating out more often (with the fam). I took some food pics. Yeah, I'm one of those Asian girls that likes to take pictures of food I eat when I'm out. :P  I also baked chocolate cookies (I bake these a lot) but since it's so common, I didn't take a pretty picture. Maybe next time!

Kale pizza from a 'natural food' restaurant. The pizza had good flavor but the crust was somewhat wet...

The restaurant had these long tables and running across it was a cute succulent display. It was fake though. :(

We went to that same restaurant on a different day with my mom's friend and I got a half basil chicken sandwich. I'm glad I got the half. This was perfect for me!The bread was slightly too toasted but it was still yummy.

I went with my mom and sister to a local Vietnamese restaurant. I had the beef pho and it was delicious as usual. The vegetables they provide are always very fresh and the food is served piping hot.

The new server there is super nice and accommodating. He's probably the best waiter I've ever had at a Vietnamese restaurant. I speculate he might be new to English (not sure, just a guess!) but it doesn't interfere with his work. I really respect him for his diligence. My sister kinda stopped drinking her water after a while though because he has this thing where if our water goes down maybe an inch, he would stop by to refill it right away! lol It gets a little awkward since we're not used to being doted on so much by our server.

Sorry, not a pretty picture. I was too impatient.
This is the bibimbap I had last night. Just one day after having pho, my dad wanted to go out to eat (he was kind of stressed/mad at my grandma) so I went with him. We chose a K-BBQ restaurant because I mentioned before that I wanted bibimbap. I'm sad to say that our experience there with our servers was the polar opposite of what I got from the Vietnamese restaurant. If you want to read my rant about that place, you can find it here or just read the post prior to this one. ;)

Right now, we're dog sitting again. I'm really happy; I love dogs and the two little guys are super cute!

This one is super soft. Softer than the softest plush doll.. x3 He likes to spend time in my brother's room so unfortunately, I don't see him as often as I would like.

My mom and I do the most work in taking care of the dogs. She usually feeds them breakfast and I feed them lunch/snacks/dinner. I probably take them for more walks too, just because... you know, my unemployed bum status. 

I took Scruffs for a walk before the two dogs came over. I think he was happy. It was a nice day for a walk and I finally took him on the trail he wanted to see.

The weather has been so beautiful and warm these days. I'm actually missing my cozy snowy weather. It's strange that I haven't seen it at all this February.

Our shitty service at the Korean restaurant

This happened yesterday when my dad and I went to get dinner at a Korean BBQ restaurant.

When we first arrived, everything was still sunshine and rainbows. We were finally going to get some Korean food~! There weren't many people there, maybe two tables besides us and we were greeted and seated. After a little while, this waitress comes by. Unsmiling, she takes our order in a just-get-it-done fashion. I'm not particularly peeved by this so things are still 'okay'. She brings over the banchan (side dishes) and sort of plops them on the table, making a small thud with each dish. I noticed other tables were treated in a similar manner with different waiters. I don't like it when servers set dishes on the table and let them clunk loudly, ESPECIALLY with lightweight dishes like banchan. I mean, really? I honestly think it just gives an impression of the server being angry. We got our food pretty damn quick. I ordered a bibimbap and my dad got the sushi. I weakly tried to steer him toward getting a Korean dish instead since it was a Korean BBQ restaurant but he insisted on sushi and a beer.

The bibimbap was okay. Nothing spectacular. It's not a hot dish so I won't deduct points for that but the taste wasn't anything amazing. I don't think it was worth the $10. My dad's sushi on the other hand, was pretty terrible. The rice was on the verge of getting hard and on top of that, it was cold! I don't expect sushi to be hot but I expect it to be room temperature and made with fresh rice. The sushi we got felt like it was made from day old rice and was sitting in the fridge for a few minutes prior to reaching our table. Not worth the price!!! >:(  My dad asked that waitress if he could get his beer and she was like, "Oh. Okay." and left without ever returning. He had to ask another waiter for his beer. We finish our food and we're waiting around. My dad asks the waitress if they got our takeout order of bulgogi (for my brother) and she was like, "Oh... No." and just walks back toward the kitchen.       



I think my dad stopped her again since she never, EVER asked if we needed anything and asked her for a box for the shitty sushi. Of course, she says "Okay." and never returns again. So again, same story. Dad asks a different waiter for a takeout box and he brings it to him promptly.

We finally get to leave and of course, no one notices us leaving/they don't give a shit so we just walk out of there. Not that I expected a "bye, thank you!"

I mentioned all of this to my dad after we left. I asked if he even bothered tipping. My dad must be really nice because he left 15%. He had to ask for someone else for help 3 times! When I think back on it, maybe he shouldn't have tipped at all. But we weren't sure who our assigned waiter was (if we ever had one) so we didn't want to burn some innocent waiter if it was a shared tip; the people he asked did get his things right away after all.

I think that restaurant seriously needs to work on their customer service or just get rid of that shitty waitress. I read some reviews on the restaurant; other people have complained about that same waitress and the staff in general! They won't be able to rely on their monopoly status of being the only Korean BBQ restaurant in the area for long.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Job hunting *Siiiiiiiiiigh...*

A cake mom got for me ^^
It's been about a month and I'm super happy to say that I passed that NCLEX exam!! ***\(^ o ^)/***

Flowers from my sister.. (>w<)
Once celebrations were over, reality soon kicked in and now I'm doing what most sane people hate doing..... Job hunting. Bleh

I was so stressed about everything that happened: pressure to pass the NCLEX, the job hunt, anticipating buying a new place, hoping I won't be an unemployed sack of potatoes for too long withering away until not even my reputation can save me... All this stress seemed to implode within me and I ended up having what's called a stress rash. I admit, it kind of sucked although I won't complain much since I'm sure worse things could happen; I should be grateful that it was only an itchy rash on my torso and arms. Somehow, my face was spared. (o_O)

Now it's been about half a month since I passed NCLEX and my stress rash seems to be going away. I started to drink some peppermint tea a few days ago and that's when the symptoms of my rash began to disappear! I was no longer so itchy and I could see the rash fading. I don't know if this is coincidence or not but it's good to note this little detail.

I'm trying hard not to get too stressed right now because I want that rash to disappear for good! I'm working on finding the most efficient way to job hunt. I try to be somewhat selective because I want to avoid the nightmare of accepting a job that I despise working at. (Note: this has happened to me before).

Our nursing program required us to complete a portfolio in our last semester and I'm really glad they did. My portfolio helps me to focus on improving my resume and cover letter. It also helps me to prepare for a potential interview.

Right now, I have a sort of schedule of when I apply for jobs. I don't do it every day because if I do, the quality of my applications seem to decrease and I begin to dread applying for jobs. So I take weekends as my 'free' days. I also don't let myself apply for jobs that I know I will hate. I stay away from the jobs with bonus incentives; I always get really suspicious of these kinds of job posts. I think to myself, "what's the catch?"

Besides job hunting, I've been focusing more on just helping around the house since I'm unemployed. I do chores like washing dishes, vacuuming, taking care of Scruff, cooking, etc. I know, I'm basically a housewife. But hey, there's no shame in that! I also help more with my grandma. Today I took her to the store and helped her choose some reading glasses. Since my stress rash, I've been trying to get more in touch with nature and my spiritual side. I started gardening with planting some kale seeds. I plan to plant some morning glories and grow some herbs indoors. I think it's been helping me. I'm going to put more effort into spending less time on youtube and playing FFXV and more time with productive tasks. These tasks include:
  • Housework
  • Cooking / Baking
  • Paying attention to Scruff
  • Helping grandma
  • Reading (ideally self enrichment books)
  • Applying for jobs
  • Preparing for interview
  • Doing practice questions to maintain nursing knowledge (I know, I'm sick for doing this again)
  • Gardening
  • Blogging ;)

Friday, January 27, 2017

How FFXV destroyed my feels

Holy shit did this game destroy me. And I mean that in an emotional way. People will probably think this is hilarious but I was seriously in a catatonic state after completing this game for maybe... a week? I know I was depressed about it for at least 2 weeks.. I finished FFXV on Christmas so uhm.. I was in a sorry state that day. Thanks Tabata you sick bastard! I shall now remember you as the director that kills my dreams of a happy ending.

Final Fantasy XV holds a special place in my heart, mostly because of how it's kind of symbolic for me. When I first saw previews of this game, I was just recently out of high school and starting college. When I finally got to play this, I had just graduated from nursing school after a long journey of figuring out what I really wanted to do with my life. Somehow I just happened to obtain this game merely a week after graduating.

I'm so obsessed with FFXV! I've been playing it almost everyday (after I got over my depression from it). I had to turn off my PS4 just now or else I'll never get anything done. (-__-)

Okay, so from this point on, I'll be in SPOILER city so if you're playing/planning to play this game and haven't finished yet, STOP READING!!!

I've played about 152 hrs of this and I'm still not finished with all the post-game content. For the record, I'm a slow player. I spend time just standing around and appreciating the gorgeous graphics; I'll take a good few minutes just admiring the grass and shrubs, lol. I really appreciate the attention to detail with the character's facial expressions being in a constant state of animation. If you've ever played the first two Kingdom Hearts games, you may have noticed the 'painted on' facial expressions of the characters. You know, that blank stared look when they're not in cutscenes?

This is the best example I can find.
You can see they've (hopefully) improved this for the upcoming Kingdom Hearts III. But I know the hair animation will not look nearly as amazing as FFXV's, unfortunately for design purposes.

In-game facial animation example. Goddamnit, everything in this game so f*cking beautiful!

I think I was so emotionally drained from this game after it ended because of how attached I got to the characters. I spent a lot of time with side quests, hunts, and camping before continuing on with the story. During that time, I got to see a lot more of the 'bros' and was granted some special scenes, depending on if I got a good location. I could feel their pain, frustrations, and happiness. You could say I was living vicariously through them (especially Noctis). I don't think I've ever cared so much since.. Harry Potter.

When shit hit the fan in Altissia I was absolutely devastated because everything happy about the story went downhill from there without ANY respite. Noctis' fiance dies, there was an emotional rift between the 'bros', one of them got separated, Tenebrae was left in a fiery state of ruin, the horrendous chapter 13, and so on. The situation just gets worse and worse. I don't know if that was really necessary and just forcing sad emotions upon us. The only break we had was toward the end and it's short lived; Noctis then goes through his 10 year crystal slumber, wtf.... Vital things that could have added so much more to characters were not explained either. There was a serious lack of exposition in the story.

I didn't think the 10 year time skip was necessary and I got some extreme whiplash from it. Older Noctis looks badass but he could be a completely different person if you ask me.

The time skip just makes things more sad for Noctis because he couldn't spend more time with the bros. I was also sad from Luna's death not necessarily because of Luna, but because I was sad for Noctis. When I reflect on his entire story from the time he left Insomnia, he loses everything he ever loves or cares about in his life; He loses his father, Luna, the happy times with his bros, Prompto (before he's found again), 10 years of time, and finally his life. I just feel sorry for him in the end because he was set up like a sacrifical lamb and unlike FFXIII where they fought to change their fate, Noctis didn't have much of a choice but to accept his.

I know there's a 'sort of' happy ending post credits but I really wish they didn't finish FFXV with "everyone dies" (Note: I like to think the bros died with him). I know the dramatic effect wouldn't be there without some sort of sacrifice but I think a happy ending can have impact as well and it would have been refreshing since Final Fantasy isn't exactly known for happy endings. It would have been even more surprising as FFXV was marketed as a darker Final Fantasy.

The tragic ending worked with Crisis Core because (most fans) knew that Zack was destined to die and it was a good way to tell the prequel to FFVII. It worked with FFX because it slowly worked up to it with happy and uplifting moments mixed throughout the sad undertone of the story. FFXV's tragedy was not executed well (not even close to its full potential) and ended up feeling forced, especially since it was presented as one giant emo train wreck toward the end with little to no exposition. It was like, happy road trip! Oh no... Luna dies. Everything goes to shit.

Don't get me wrong, I still love this game. I think it's gorgeous, engaging, and I like the story. I can forgive the lack of those special CGI animated cutscenes that are so exclusive to Final Fantasy games because the in-game animation is so spectacular. I just wish it had more cutscenes of characters (especially Ardyn, Revus, and Luna) minus the ridiculously drawn out emo ending. Should I even mention the awkwardly placed revelation of Prompto? (=_=)

Another thing I don't appreciate is Square Enix creating exposition DLC to SELL after the game has been completed instead including it in the game to begin with. There's no way I'm purchasing exposition DLC for this game. In my opinion, if they create that, they should just put it out for free especially since they seriously skimped on this Final Fantasy story. They can stick to selling things like additional outfits. It's not our fault that they f*cked up with cutting out story content. Why should we have to pay for exposition that should have been included in the first place? Okay, ending rant here.